While Hiring of Neuheisel was Okay, Getting Chow is Something Huge
It wasn't such a big deal that UCLA hired Rick Neuheisel; he was a good hire, not great. But adding Norm Chow to the mix changes things, in a big way. The news that Chow accepted the offer at UCLA stuck in the throat like an irritating fish bone. For Trojan fans, something needs to be done about that irritating feeling.
Now the Game Gets Really Interesting
USC would not be threatened by the hiring of Karl Dorrell. It would not be threatened by the hiring of Rick Neuheisel. But Norm Chow is a different thing altogether. Chow is without doubt, the best offensive coordinator/quarterback guru of all time in college football.
Hats off to Neuheisel for pulling off one of the greatest hires in Los Angeles football history. Pete Carroll was a genius for bringing in Chow and making him the offensive coordinator of the Trojans. That was genius. Neuheisel just imitated Carroll, so that wasn't quite so genius. Carroll let Chow go, that too wasn't genius.
What's Likely to Happen
Norm Chow will bring the offense to new heights at UCLA. There is no reason to think otherwise. He simply has no equal in the college ranks.
The unknown factors are: will there be adequate chemistry with the coaches at UCLA? Probably, yes. Neuheisel, Chow and Dewayne Walker are a pretty stout coaching staff. Chow has done wonders at each of his college stints. There's no reason to think that is going to change.
Neuheisel is known as a great recruiter. Chow, an offensive guru. Walker, well he performed well at USC and has been doing a good job at UCLA. This formula, this coaching staff may be unequalled in division 1 football. But that is on paper. We have to see what comes of this as time passes on.
Not a Great Day for Trojan Fans
The announcement of Norm Chow brought a collective gasp to the Trojan Family. While Chow did not leave USC of his own choice or on the best of terms, Trojan faithful do recognize his contributions to the current reign of the football program.
One thing that comes to mind is a radio interview he did a couple of years ago. To paraphrase, Chow said, "They should have four championships there now." And that's the truth.
The coaching staff has had significant changes since the days of Norm Chow, and one would ponder, ‘Only if…what would have happened if Chow stayed.' Of course, there's every possibility that the Trojan would have suffered the same fate, with or without Chow.
Who Would You Rather Have?
Pete Carroll is a known entity. We know what he does with recruiting, winning and developing teams. I'll take Carroll. Steve Sarkisian is just now learning the ropes, and his worth will be valued in the future.
On the other hand, Neuheisel, Chow and Walker are known entities as well. Neuheisel has almost been great, if not for problems he encountered at both Colorado and Washington. Norm Chow has been nothing but great at developing offenses and quarterbacks. Walker has been very good, but is not truly tested yet.
On the basis of history, I'd rather have Carroll. On the other hand Norm Chow is great.
We'll see come 2008 and 2009. God save the Queen.